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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Socialist Alliance: Nationalise the banks!


The economic meltdown on Wall Street and its massive repercussions worldwide won’t be going away in a hurry according to Dave Riley, Socialist Alliance National Executive member.“This isn’t just a symptom of too much greed or careless lending practices—nor will any amount of improvising prevent a severe world economic crisis developing. It’s too late for that.

“In the midst of a massive financial crisis it is not enough—as the Rudd government has attempted to do—to try to prop up the financial system,” Riley said.“While millions of people rely on banking system to provide an essential service, the purpose of the existence of the bank is to make profits. The logical response to that is to remove profit making from the equation by nationalising the banking industry and merging all of the banks into one single publicly controlled bank with a charter to provide essential banking services to the entire community.”
Dave Riley said that first step should be the re-nationalisation of the Commonwealth Bank.“Why shore up the banks with the possibility of a massive bail out bill—funded at taxpayer expense—when something might be done for the greater population?” he asked.

“Why is it that the wealth of this country is never shared but the national debt is?”Mr Riley said that it was time for the capitalist system to take care of itself while governments devoted public resources to the people.

“Any money lent to the banks or other financial institutions should be drawn from the record profits of the corporations and the obscene salaries of their CEOs and boards. If massive amounts of our money are going to be invested in the banks then we should have a say on where that money goes. We, rather than the finance industry, should decide what debts get called in.”

Riley added: “Most of all we have to slash interest rates and tie that initiative to a massive program of public home building, investment in public transport infrastructure and other measures to kickstart an environmentally and economically sustainable economy.”

According to Riley the root cause of this crisis is that “trading in money for profit has largely displaced real production”. “Like a house of cards, the money men are dragging the whole edifice down on all of us as the world nose dives into economic chaos, which may even be on par with the Great Depression.”Riley said that no one will be immune.

“For years workers’ real wages have been constrained as the profit share has leaped”, he said.

“Instead of receiving pay rises, we have to make up the shortfall by paying interest on money we are forced to borrow to survive!”

“We are facing what may turn out to be the worse crisis in the history of post-war capitalism and the first priority has be to protect the millions of Australians who are likely to be its victims.”

The Socialist Alliance spokesperson said that the corporate high flyers with their free market doctrines had had their “day in the sun”. “Look where it has got us!”, he exclaimed. “It’s time for a new economic direction away from a fixation with the mentality of the stock exchange, and towards a new political direction not governed by the bottom line of the big corporations, financial and non-financial.”

Dave Riley will be facilitating a discussion on the Financial Crisis from a socialist perspective, The Financial Crash: A System in Chaos, on Wednesday October 15th from 6.30pm at the Brisbane Activist Centre, 74b Wickham St (Cnr Warren St), The Valley. Contact: Dave Riley 07 3333 1805 Paul Benedek 0410 629 088Email queensland@socialist-alliance.org

People before profits, planet before profitshttp://www.socialist-alliance.org/

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